In The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration, the author defends a vegetable that’s long been maligned by millions.
“It’s absolutely not too late to plant,” says Ruth Gonzalez of Reems Creek Nursery in Weaverville.
According to the Green Burial Council, burials in the United States annually put 4.3 million gallons of embalming fluids, 20 million feet of wood, 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete, 17,000 tons of copper and bronze and 64,500 tons of steel into the ground. Local green burial sites offer an alternative with less environmental impact.
The U.S. Forest Service plans to harvest the majority of trees at 16 sites in Nantahala National Forest beginning next year as part of its Southside Project. Story by Jack Igelman, originally published by Carolina Public Press.
With flat land at a premium, how can new housing developments arise to accommodate the influx of new Ashevilleans without sacrificing water quality or the majesty of unspoiled vistas? Some conservationists say the answer lies with “sustainably developed” neighborhoods.
“Rain barrels don’t catch much, but you can do an open-ground dry stream with stone and a creek bed,” explains Steve Ambrose about the craft introduced to him by friend and business partner Rafael Moreno-Baron. “It will last forever, and you can build it with stuff you found onsite.”
Smith, who volunteers and serves on the library’s board, says the nonprofit has reached more than 300 paid members and is still growing. As a result, items such power washers and circular saws spend more time building and cleaning than they do collecting dust.
“This is giving us a way to organize at a regional scale around carbon farming and climate resilience,” says Co-operate WNC founder and permaculture educator Friedman. “Us doing little stuff in our backyards is not adding up to climate resilience — I wish it were, but it’s not.”
Along with more than 150 traditional workshops and seminars, six keynote speakers and hundreds of exhibitors, this year’s fair now features hands-on and extended workshops that dig deeper into an array of topics selected by the magazine’s editorial team.
Curry says his new line of shoes — made using natural hemp fiber — is both practical and environmentally conscious. “It was chosen because it deals well with water. It doesn’t rot; it doesn’t degrade with UV [ultraviolet radiation] compared to cotton or jute or other things. It’s really a strong, amazing material,” Curry says.
Gardeners can shop for conifers, annuals, perennials, herbs and much more, and local farmer Annie Louise Perkinson will offer a talk about growing a cut-flower garden.
“Culture is the closest to my heart,” says Fleming, who plays steel guitar, of activities at the second biennial Get Off the Grid Fest . “The best way to build the culture of a community is through music and dance, and we have an incredibly strong line-up. It’s an empowering and joyful event.”
Last summer, Smith took his love for okra to new heights through his work with the Utopian Seed Project, a organization that aims to create diverse and integrated food systems. He catalogued more than 75 varieties of the vegetable, which he hopes will promote resilience against pests, disease and climate change while providing greater food security.
With wedding season right around the corner, local wedding vendors are ramping up options for local couples.
Eric Bradford, director of operations at local environmental nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks, calls China’s restriction of its recyclables market a wake-up call for domestic recyclers. “We were basically paying China to be our landfill for these ‘recyclables,’ and we felt good about it,” he says.
Clere calls the effort a “natural outgrowth” from the last of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles: “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Rituals that draw on the traditions of indigenous, non-Western cultures are part of a growing industry at the intersection of health, wellness and spirituality. Some in Western North Carolina have raised concerns about whether it’s appropriate for non-native practitioners to offer and profit from traditional practices and techniques.
The city of Asheville has taken initial steps toward rezoning real estate in four places around town in hopes of encouraging new development that would offer a denser mix of housing, shops and office space, similar to Biltmore Park Town Square or Reynolds Village in Woodfin. “Asheville wants to move in a direction that is more urban, that is more walkable, that has a greater mix of uses,” says city planner Vaidila Satvika.
Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Henderson County Republican, on April 16 introduced a bill in the state House to require the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County to add Fletcher, Mills River and some unincorporated areas of northern Henderson County to its service district if a state board approves. The following day, the Buncombe MSD board voted to oppose the bill.
Free programs from the Buncombe County Master Gardeners offer guidance in sustainable growing practices.